Vietnam is widely regarded as one of Asia's most photogenic destinations. The Southeast Asian country, located at the eastern edge of the Indochinese Peninsula, is known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas, and buzzing cities that are a treat for any travel enthusiast.
For almost a thousand years the country has been ruled by various Chinese dynasties until it gained relative independence in 938 AD. In the 19th century, Vietnam became a French protectorate, a period that lasted until 1945. Today, Vietnam is a proud and independent country that is one of the unique jewels of Asia.
It is this uniqueness that travel photographer Dima Gilitukha attempted to capture through his lens during his month-long stay in the beautiful country. More than the beaches and the rivers, Gilitukha wanted to highlight the lush rice terraces, forested mountains, floating villages, and the picturesque valleys of Vietnam, as well as the life of the people there.
Gilitukha managed to travel from Southern to Northern Vietnam and spent a lot of time with various tribes on their land. He also visited many important cities such as Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Can Tho, and more.
During his stay in Vietnam, Gilitukha sought to capture sincere moments – women working in rice fields, people working in the market, or just the silent beauty of the landscapes.
Gilitukha was especially fascinated by the small village of Can Tho, located in the Mekong Delta. The idyllic area is known for its floating markets and handicraft villages. The Cai Rang Floating Market gives a great insight into the colorful life and the cultural diversity of Vietnam. It’s the biggest wholesale floating market in the Mekong Delta and is open all day.
Vietnamese coffee made with condensed milk
The photographer also came across the Son Doong Cave - the largest natural cave in the world (when measured by cross-section) which contains an impressive eco-system with pathways and underground rainforests.
Another interesting stop in the trip was Cat Ba Island in Ha Long Bay. A UNESCO-protected site, Cat Ba Island is dotted with picturesque rocks, crystal clear waters, and magnificent beaches. The landscapes of the area are truly breathtaking and it’s no wonder that people throng the place every year for a relaxing adventure.
Gilitukha had a great time spending a few days in the capital of Hanoi and Sapa, an alpine village. In Sapa, the photographer was fascinated by the Can Cau Saturday Market, where various ethnic groups living in the mountains gather frequently to trade goods and interact.
The floating villages in Can Tho captivated Gilitukha the most. The locals went about their everyday life with such ease even while living on water.
While Dima Gilitukha enjoyed taking pictures of the charming scenery in Vietnam, it was his interactions with the local tribes that left the biggest impression on him. “The Black Hmong and Red Dzao tribes live side by side, but speak different languages. They lead a measured life in the highlands: women make handicrafts, and men grow rice. Their villages are surrounded by picturesque mountain slopes covered with rice fields,” the photographer was quoted as saying in an interview.
These wonderful pictures indeed highlight the many shades of Vietnam and make us appreciate what a truly special place it is.
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